With the initiative to make Indian cities more sustainable, NITI Aayog has launched a new course at IIT Roorkee. The course named ‘Urban Analytics – Evaluating and Measuring Sustainability of Cities’ has been started under HRD Ministry’s Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) programme.
Inaugurating the new course, Principal Adviser of NITI Aayog, RP Watal, said that he was glad that the ceremony was attended by people from various multi-disciplinary backgrounds including people from the government as well as private organizations who could share knowledge from different spheres.
Expressing his concern for the random growth of towns and big cities, he said that such regions have no idea about the growth and need planners to measure the sustainability of the development plans. Watal urged the participants to come up with innovative ideas using GIS (Geographic Information System) to solve development issues in cities and towns.
Key Features of the Urban Analytics Course at IIT Roorkee:
- The course will cover challenges faced by cities that have a huge population.
- The course will enlighten students regarding the implications of urbanization and how it impacts sustainable development.
- It will also encourage the students to identify and appreciate the drivers of urban growth and its asynchronous impact on different people and places.
- The course will also use conceptual and analytical tools to evaluate sustainability conditions in different urban regions.
- The course will also analyse current debates regarding sustainability and will contribute to the debate as it relates to urban areas.
Prof. Subhro Guhathakurta of Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, said that measuring sustainability is no minor feat. He also added that India will need a lot of spatial data in order to begin measuring sustainability. Prof. Guhathakurta is the Director of Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization (CSPAV) at Georgia Tech.
Prof. AK Chaturvedi, Director of IIT Roorkee, said that it is motivating that India has started thinking about the measurement of sustainability as it would be great for future development. Prof. M Parida, Dean (Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy) at IIT Roorkee, said that with the appropriate research funds, the initiative could be lead by a dedicated group of people.